Creative Education
2013. Vol.4, No.7, 440-445
Published Online July 2013 in SciRes (
Copyright © 2013 SciRes.
Metaphors: The Elementary School Teacher Candidates Come Up
with Relation to the Concept of “Drama”
Ayşe Mentiş Taş
Konya Necmettin Erbakan Üniversity, Meram Yeniyol/Konya, Turkey
Received February 22nd, 2013; revised March 23rd, 2013; accepted April 1st, 2013
Copyright © 2013 Ayşe Mentiş Taş. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons At-
tribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the
original work is properly cited.
The purpose of this study is to uncover the perceptions of the elementary school teacher candidates who
have related to the concept of “drama” through metaphors. The study group consisted of 129 third-year
students taking the “Drama” course during the fall semester of the 2012-2013 academic year in the De-
partment of Elementary School Teaching of Necmettin Erbakan University’s Faculty of Education. 66 of
the teacher candidates, who participated in the study, were females and the 63 of them were males. The
data of the study was obtained by students completing the sentence of “Drama is like… because…”. To
do this, the teacher candidates were given a blank sheet of paper with the aforementioned sentence written
at the top of the paper and were asked to express their thoughts by using that statement and by concen-
trating on only one metaphor. During the analysis of the data, frequency, percentage calculations and
content analysis which is a qualitative method, were used. The process of analyzing and interpreting the
metaphors developed by the teacher candidates was carried in five phases: (1) naming stage, (2) screening
and clarifying phase, (3) compiling and category development phase, (4) proving the validity and reliabil-
ity phase, (5) transferring the data into the computer. According to the findings of the study, the teacher
candidates developed 30 valid metaphors related to the concept of “Drama”. These metaphors were then
grouped under five different conceptual categories after examining them in terms of common characteris-
Keywords: Drama; Metaphor; Elementary School Teacher; Teacher Candidate
Today, education systems follow a student-centered approach
not a teacher-centered approach. Therefore, what is needed from
the students is for them to be individuals who are active and
confident and who know the ways to reach information, apply
the knowledge and skills they have learned, decide, take res-
ponsibilities, communicate, work collaboratively and learn-by-
doing. For students to gain these characteristics, student-cen-
tered methods should be used in classrooms. One of the stu-
dent-centered methods that forces the students to be active, al-
lows them to learn-by-doing and helps them to communicate
positively with others and socialize is drama.
Drama is action situations and improvisations that the par-
ticipants create based on their own creative inventions, original
thoughts, memories and knowledge without a prior written text
(San, 1999). Drama is a teaching method among contemporary
methods that is student-centered and that makes the learner ac-
tive and ensures permanent learning by learning-by-doing and
having fun (Maden, 2011).
Drama is the most significant model of learning and is a ba-
sic activity for learning. It is the way of helping children to
think about their individual or social problems. Children can
learn to explore issues, events and connections by means of
drama. In drama, children draw on their knowledge and ex-
perience of the real world in order to create a make believe
world (O’Neill & Lambert, 1989, cited in Üstündağ, 1997).
The general purpose of drama, which enables the children to
go back and forth between the real world and the fictional
world, is to have individuals who are creative in all areas, self-
sufficient, self-aware, articulate and communicative. With these
characteristics, drama provides significant contributions to the
child by supporting the child’s development and creativity (Bre-
wer, 2007).
The use of drama as a teaching method in elementary schools
can create personal and social development environments such
as working together, sharing and “self-realizations”. Drama
education is open to new ideas, individual decisions and op-
portunities for free choice. In that respect, drama helps the stu-
dents to look at the world from many perspectives and to live
their own feelings and emotions in a realistic environment
(Üstündağ, 1997).
Being done in every educational level and with people from
all ages, drama studies can be integrated with the modern edu-
cation system and can create teachers and students who have a
need and excitement to improve themselves by breaking the
boring structures of education (Okvuran, 1995).
Today, drama can be done starting from pre-school to post-
graduate in all levels of education. In elementary school, drama
is included in courses such as life studies, science, math, social
studies and music. However, for drama to be used in schools,
the teachers have to be knowledgeable about drama. For this
purpose, in Turkey some changes have been made in higher
education (Ormancı & Ören, 2010).
With the “Restructuring of Education Faculties” made by
CHE (The Council of Higher Education), “Drama in preschool”
and “Drama in Elementary School” courses were made compul-
sory in undergraduate programs of education faculties. This can
be regarded as an important point where Turkey came in re-
gards to academic level (Adıgüzel, 1999). After the new regula-
tions in higher education, elementary school teacher candidates
have been taking “Drama” course in their 3rd year (5th semes-
ter). After this development, there has been a lot of research
done on drama. Many of the research done in Turkey regarding
drama is about the effectiveness of drama as a method and the
drama application skills of the teachers (Gürol, 2003; Harun,
2005; Dalbudak, 2006; Yılmaz, 2006; Erdoğan, 2006; Akyol &
Hamamci, 2007; Kara & Çam, 2007; Yildirim, Sedef, & Can;
Özdemir & Çakmak, 2008; Dalbudak & Akyol, 2008; Yildirım,
2008; Karacil, 2009; Çelen & Vural, 2009; Ormanci & Ören,
2010; Dellal & Kara, 2010; Aykaç & Adıgüzel, 2011; Oğuz &
Altun, 2011).
There is not much research on drama and metaphorical
thinking. Metaphor is a perception tool (Arnett, 1999). What is
meant by the concept of metaphor is explaining a concept, a
phenomenon or an event with another concept, phenomenon or
event through an analogy (Oxford et al., 1998). Metaphors can
also be defined as “language of experiences” in terms of indi-
viduals giving meaning to their own personal experiences (Mil-
ler, 1987). In this context, this study tried to determine the me-
taphors elementary school teacher candidates’ put forward re-
lated to drama.
The purpose of this study is to uncover the perceptions of the
elementary school teacher candidates have related to the con-
cept of “drama” through metaphors. Within this general pur-
pose, the answers for the following questions were sought:
1. Through which metaphors the elementary school teacher
candidates explain their perceptions related to the concept of
2. In which conceptual categories these metaphors can be
grouped under in terms of common characteristics?
Study Group
This study was carried out within the framework of “content
analysis” model, which is a qualitative research approach. The
study group of the research consisted of 129 third-year students
taking the “Drama” course during the fall semester of the
2012-2013 academic year in the Department of Elementary
School Teaching of Necmettin Erbakan University’s Faculty of
Education. 66 of the teacher candidates, who voluntarily par-
ticipated in the study, were females and the 63 of them were
Data Collection
For the purpose of determining the perceptions of teacher
candidates related to the concept of “drama”, each candidate
was asked to complete the sentence of “Drama is like… be-
cause…”. To do this, the teacher candidates were given a blank
sheet of paper with the aforementioned sentence written at the
top of the paper and were asked to express their thoughts by
using that statement and by concentrating on only one metaphor.
In studies that the metaphor is used as a research tool, the con-
cept of “like” is generally used to clearly show the link between
the metaphor’s subject and metaphor’s source (Saban, 2008). In
this study, by also including the concept of “because”, the tea-
cher candidates were asked to provide a justification and give a
logical basis for their metaphors. The answers given by the
teacher candidates were used as the main data source in this
Data Analysis
During the analysis of the data, frequency, percentage calcu-
lations and content analysis which is a qualitative method, were
used. The process of analyzing and interpreting the metaphors
developed by the teacher candidates was carried out five phases
that were used by Saban (2008): (1) naming phase, (2) screen-
ing and clarifying phase, (3) compiling and category develop-
ment phase, (4) proving the validity and reliability phase, (5)
transferring the data into the computer phase.
Naming Phase: During this phase, a temporary list in alpha-
betical order was made by the metaphors created by the study
group and whether the teacher candidates expressed a specific
metaphor in their writings was examined. At this phase, the
metaphor used by each candidate was coded (ex: life, tree, sun,
mirror, pencil, etc.).
Screening and Clarifying Phase: During this phase, after re-
viewing the metaphors created by the teacher candidates, each
metaphor’s image (1) was analyzed in terms of metaphor’s sub-
ject (2), metaphor’s source (3) and the relationship between
metaphor’s subject and source. 15 teacher candidates’ papers
were excluded form the study for not giving metaphor exam-
ples, not giving justifications/reasons for their metaphors and
for their reasons not concurring with their metaphors.
Compiling and Category Development Phase: As a result of
examining teacher candidates’ papers, 30 valid metaphor im-
ages were retrieved. These metaphors were grouped under five
different categories based on their common characteristics.
Proving the Validity and Reliability Phase: Validity and re-
liability are the two most important criterion used to ensure the
credibility of a research’s results. In a qualitative study, report-
ing the collected data in detail and explaining how the resear-
cher reached the results are among the important criterion of
validity” (Yıldırım & Şimşek, 2005). In this study, to ensure the
validity of the data, the data analysis process was explained in
detail and all the metaphors representing the identified catego-
ries were included in the findings. For the reliability of the data,
two experts in the field of educational sciences were consulted.
They were asked to evaluate the likeliness of the identified ca-
tegories and the metaphor images grouped under these catego-
ries. Then, an agreement was achieved by comparing the analy-
sis of the experts. Determining the number of agreements and
number of disagreements in comparisons, the study’s reliability
was calculated by using Miles and Huberman formula (reliabil-
ity = agreement/agreement + disagreement). In the reliability
study specific to this research, 90% of agreement (reliability)
was obtained.
Transferring the Data into the Computer Phase: After de-
termining a total of 30 categories and creating the conceptual
categories of these metaphors, all the data was entered into the
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. 441
computer and f and % values were calculated by placing the
teacher candidates’ valid metaphors into categories.
In this section, frequency and percentage distribution infor-
mation related to teacher candidates’ metaphors about the con-
cept of drama and the distribution of these metaphors by cate-
gories is given.
Table 1 shows the first three metaphors created by teachers
candidates. These life, dream and mirror.
Table 2 shows teacher candidates created 30 metaphors re-
lated to the concept of drama. These metaphors were then
grouped under five categories after taking the logical reasons
suggested into consideration.
Table 3 shows four metaphors were created by a total of 23
students. In this category, mirror is the most created metaphor.
The following are examples of the teacher candidates’ reasons
using these metaphors.
Table 1.
Frequency and percentage distributions of teacher candidates’ meta-
phors related to the concept of drama.
Metaphor Nam e f % Metaphor
Name f %
Mirror 16 14 Orchestra 1 0.9
Paint Palette 2 1.7 Play Dough 5 4.4
Chameleon 2 1.7 Toy 1 0.9
Flower Garden 3 3.7 Teacher 1 0.9
Chocolate 1 0.9 Cake 2 1.7
Child 3 2.7 Window 2 1.7
Football 5 4.4 Piano 1 0.9
Night Lamp 1 0.9 Colors 4 3.5
Rainbow 2 1.7 Water 4 3.5
Sun 5 4.4 Sponge 1 0.9
Dream 19 16.4 Song 1 0.9
Pencil 3 2.7 Poem 1 0.9
Book 2 1.7 Television 1 0.9
Fruit Tree 2 1.7 Rain 1 0.9
School 1 0.9 Life 21 18.4
Total 114 100
Table 2.
Distribution of teacher candidates’ metaphors related to drama by cate-
Category Name f Created
Metaphor %
Reflection 4 13.3
Teaching and Informing 8 26.7
Entertaining 5 16.6
Collaboration 2 6.7
Expressing Different Roles and Feelings 11 36.7
Total 30 100
Table 3.
Metaphor Name f Students Representing
the Metaphor %
Mirror 16 14.03
Window 2 1.7
Water 4 3.5
Sponge 1 0.9
Total 23 20.13
Drama is like a mirror because mirror shows everything as it
is. Drama shows a person every aspect of themselves, too. (S.N.
Drama is like a window because when we look out the win-
dow, we see the world. When we watch drama, we see the truth.
(S.N. 22)
Drama is like a sponge because it sucks the realities of the
world, in a way it, filters them and lets them go. (S.N. 37)
Drama is like water because water is transparent. Water
shows whatever you reflect on it. Drama shows the people as
they are, too. (S.N. 4)
Table 4 shows eight metaphors were created by 16 students.
In this category, sun is the most created metaphor. The follow-
ing are examples of the teacher candidates’ reasons using these
Drama is like a night lamp because people light up through
drama just like how a night lamp lightens up and shows the
way. (S.N. 55)
Drama is like the sun because sun gives light to its sur-
rounding, it lights up. Drama gives message to the people. It
gives information. It helps people to light up. (S.N. 63)
Drama is like a pencil because we write book, papers and
draw with pencil and this way we give out information. We give
message. Drama gives us a message, too. It helps us to learn.
(S.N. 84)
Drama is like a book because every book has a main idea
that it gives to the reader. Drama, also, gives a main idea to the
audience. (S.N. 88)
Drama is like a school because we get education in schools
and we learn in schools. By taking part in drama, we and the
others around us learn something. (S.N. 41)
Drama is like a teacher because a teacher educates his/her
students and informs them. Drama educates and informs us, too.
(S.N. 67)
Drama is alike a fruit tree because fruit is a vitamin store.
Vitamins make people healthier. Drama, also, makes people
more knowledgeable and cultured. (S.N. 98)
Drama is like the rain because rain falls down on the plants,
nurtures them and makes them grow. With the messages it gives,
drama nurtures them and helps them grow. (S.N. 106)
Table 5 shows five metaphors were created by eight students.
In this category, child is the most created metaphor. The fol-
lowing are examples of the teacher candidates’ reasons using
these metaphors.
Drama is like chocolate because while we take part in drama
or while we watch drama, we take the pleasure we take from
chocolate. We have fun. We become happy. (S.N. 13)
Drama is like a child because drama is natural and fun like a
child. Kids act naturally as it comes to them. They are at the
Copyright © 2013 SciRes.
Table 4.
Teaching and informing.
Metaphor Name f Students Representing the
Metaphor %
Night Lamp 1 0.9
Sun 5 4.4
Pencil 3 2.7
Book 2 1.7
School 1 0.9
Teacher 1 0.9
Fruit Tree 2 1.7
Rain 1 0.9
Total 16 14.1
Table 5.
Metaphor Name f Students Representing the
Metaphor %
Chocolate 1 0.9
Child 3 2.7
Cake 2 1.7
Toy 1 0.9
Television 1 0.9
Total 8 7.1
same time very fun beings. Drama is natural and fun, too. (S.N.
Drama is like a cake because eating cake is something fun
for me. I would be happy with the taste left in my mouth. While
I take part in drama, I have fun and I become happy. (S.N. 18)
Drama is like a toy because toys allow children to have fun
and makes them happy. Likewise, drama allows us to have fun
and makes us happy, too. (S.N. 5)
Drama is like television because television entertains us by
giving us a good time. While we take part in drama we have
dun and have a good time, too. (S.N. 34)
Table 6 shows two metaphors were created by six students.
In this category, football is the most created metaphor. The fol-
lowing are examples of the teacher candidates’ reasons using
these metaphors.
Drama is like football because in both of them there is col-
laboration and the pleasure to achieve. In both of them, the
play is natural. (S.N. 51)
Drama is like football because both of them have team work.
One is played in the field and the other is played on the stage.
The ones who play in drama act for the same purpose just like
the ones who play in football. (S.N. 8)
Drama is like an orchestra because the musicians in the or-
chestra collaborate to make music. They produce together. The
ones who participate in drama also perform by working to-
gether. (S.N. 39)
Table 7 shows 11 metaphors were created by 61 students. In
this category, life and dream are the most created metaphor.
The following are examples of the teacher candidates’ reasons
using these metaphors.
Table 6.
Metaphor Namef Students Representing
the Metaphor %
Football 5 4.4
Orchestra 1 0.9
Total 6 5.3
Table 7.
Expressing different roles and feelings.
Metaphor Namef Students Representing the
Metaphor %
Paint Palette 2 1.7
Chameleon 2 1.7
Flower Garden 3 2.7
Rainbow 2 1.7
Dream 19 16.6
Play Dough 5 4.4
Piano 1 0.9
Colors 4 3.5
Song 1 0.9
Poem 1 0.9
Life 21 18.4
Total 61 53.4
Drama is like a paint palette because there are colors on the
palette. We add beauty into the picture when we use these col-
ors. We give meaning. The different roles performed in drama
let us see the details we can not see in life just like the different
colors on a palette. (S.N. 12)
Drama is like a chameleon because chameleon changes
color depending on its natural environment. It takes the color
of the environment it is in. In drama, people engage in different
roles and feelings depending on the subject. (S.N. 28)
Drama is like a flower garden because in a flower garden
there are all sorts of colorful flowers. In a garden, there are
tall, short and different colored flowers. There is a riot of col-
ors. In drama, there are people with different roles. (S.N. 100)
Drama is like a rainbow because rainbow is colorful. It has
all the colors of life. Drama is also colorful just like the rain-
bow. It has different roles and different faces. (S.N. 45)
Drama is like a dream because every person dreams. In their
dreams, they take on different roles and show different emo-
tions. In drama, people can take on different roles, too. They
can perform different characters. (S.N. 38)
Drama is like play dough because play dough takes the
shape of whatever you shape it into. Sometimes we can make a
smiling face and sometimes we can make a sad face. In drama,
we give shape to the roles we play just like giving shape to play
dough. (S.N. 52)
Drama is like a piano because piano brings out many differ-
ent songs. When someone plays the piano, it leaves a pleasant
sound in our ears. In drama, different roles and different emo-
tions in the performances leave a pleasant impression on us.
(S.N. 72)
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. 443
Drama is like colors because each color has a different ap-
pearance and different beauty. In drama, each performance
and each role has a different beauty. (S.N. 78)
Drama is like a song because sometimes the songs make us
sad and sometimes they make us laugh. It is the same with
drama. Some roles in drama make us laugh and some roles
make us cry. (S.N. 69)
Drama is like a poem because when we reread a poem, we
get a different taste and different meaning. Drama is just the
same. When you rewatch it, we get different feelings and mea-
nings. (S.N. 39)
Drama is like life because in life there are feelings like love,
hate, longing, pain, sorrow, compassion and mercy. There are
many roles that give these feelings. In drama, there are also
many roles and there are many feelings that express these roles.
(S.N. 94)
Discussion and Result
According to the findings obtained from the content analysis,
the 30 metaphors created by the teacher candidates were group-
ed under the five categories of reflection, teaching and inform-
ing, entertaining, collaboration and expressing different roles
and feelings. Among these categories, the most created meta-
phors were from “expressing different roles and feelings” (f: 11,
36.5%) and “teaching and informing” (f: 8, 26.7%) categories.
These findings show that teacher candidates have very posi-
tive images towards the “drama” course. When the reasons the
candidates gave to the metaphors are taken into consideration, it
is seen that they emphasized the purposes and benefits of drama.
For example, the metaphors and the reasons given in the “ex-
pressing different roles and feelings” category point to approa-
ching events from different angles and even to empathizing.
Pinciotti Similarly, in their works Pinciotti (1993) and Anna-
rella (1992) stated that students’ ability to look at events from
different angles and empathize was developed through drama.
In addition, Sağlam (1997), expressed that the main purpose of
drama is for individuals to put themselves into other individu-
als’ shoes and seize the opportunity to get to know themselves
better. In drama, participants begin to think about people living
in different circumstances and how they behave in these differ-
ent circumstances by examining social events. They are able to
put forward different opinions. This leads the participants to
discord, discussion and solution.
According to the other findings in the study, the teacher can-
didates see drama as a tool to “teaching and informing”. When
the metaphors and the reasons given in this category are exam-
ined, it is seen that the teaching and informing aspect of drama
is being emphasized. Similarly, Kaf (2000), O’Neill & Lambert
(1995), San (1996), Adıgüzel (2006), maden (2011) and Oruç
& Altın (2008) all stated that drama is a method which contrib-
utes to the development of the individual in every aspect. Ac-
cording to the study findings, the other categories are reflection,
entertaining and collaboration. When the metaphors and the
reasons given in these categories are examined, it can say that
drama has entertaining, collaborative and reflective characteris-
tics for the students. In drama, participants understand a lot of
things related to themselves, their friends, their families and the
world they live in by creating, developing and reflecting (Full-
ford et al., 2001). Along the same lines, according to Köksal
(2003), drama contributes to the feelings of collaboration, soli-
darity and sharing in individuals. Also, according to Girgin
(1999) drama is one of the most successful group methods that
allows the participants to learn by living through interaction.
As a result, the findings of this study show that the meta-
phors created by the teacher candidates are effective tools to
explain the characteristics of drama.
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